So much for all the tension between Louisville and Kentucky. The Wildcats beat the Cardinals 69-61 Saturday to advance to the national championship game in New Orleans. After the loss, Louisville coach Rick Pitino said he was pulling for his in-state rival to win it all.
“I just said John [Calipari], `I’ll be pulling for you, bring the trophy back home to Kentucky. Sometimes there’s a lot of talk about these guys fighting, dialysis, there’s also really a lot of people that get along. … For those that have brains, they root for each other,” Pitino said.
“We like their basketball team; we hope they bring it home for the state.”
Whether he was being genuine is tough to say, but I don’t think he would have said that if he didn’t feel that way.
Louisville scored the first points of the game and that was the only time they led. Though they came within two with seven minutes left, Kentucky led by a comfortable margin most of the game. The Wildcats were simply the better team, and Louisville had no answer for Anthony Davis who went 7-8 for 18 points with 14 rebounds and five blocks. Not many teams have an answer for him; that’s why he was named the player of the year.
Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE
Louisville beat Seton Hall 61-55 in the second round of the Big East tournament Wednesday, hurting the Pirates’ chances of making the NCAA Tournament. Rick Pitino was asked about Seton Hall’s tournament chances after the game, and he said he’d go along with ESPN “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi, who, prior to the game, had the Pirates in the draw.
“I go by Joe Lunardi. Just listen to Lunardi, you’ll know who’s in and who’s out. He’s never wrong, he doesn’t have a life … that’s all he does with his life. On his tombstone, ‘I was a bracketologist, the best in America,'” Pitino said.
Speaking with other reporters after the game, it was more of the same praise from Pitino.
“I say this joking around. This guy Joe Lunardi has no agenda. How would you like to wake up in the morning and all you do is bracketology all day long? Can you imagine that? He doesn’t pay attention to his wife, he doesn’t pay attention to his children, all he does all night long is bracketology. So just follow him because his batting average is incredible.”
If Pitino goes along with whatever Lunardi says, then Seton Hall won’t make the tourney. In his updated brackets Wednesday, Lunardi listed the Hall among his first four teams out of the dance.
Awareness of concussions in sports has grown enormously in recent years. As we’ve seen with all the to do surrounding head shots in the NFL, league officials and doctors are working to try to make sports safer — right now and down the road. Is the raised awareness the result of advanced research in the medical field or just plain paranoia? From the sound of it, Rick Pitino is going with the latter.
The Big Lead passed along a few comments Pitino made to The Courier-Journal after one of his Louisville Cardinals was diagnosed with a concussion.
It’s the seventeenth concussion we’ve had this year,” Pitino said. “I’ve been coaching now 35 years. I’ve seen maybe 5 concussions in 35 years. The new thing is everybody has a concussion. If you walk out and slightly brush the door, you have a concussion. That’s the way it is today.”
You might wear a white coat, Rick, but you aren’t a doctor. From a coaching standpoint, I can understand how an increase in concussion diagnoses can be frustrating. After all, there’s a good chance it means your guy can’t play in the next game. However, I don’t see how you can argue that it’s a bad thing. Doctors aren’t looking to screw players out of playing time by claiming they have some sort of injury that doesn’t exist. Medicine advances and safety improves. Rick Pitino and James Harrison will just have to learn to deal with it.
And maybe the thing was cursed. With the fans pulling a white out similar to the trend we’ve seen in Miami for Heat playoff games recently (not this year, of course), Rick Pitino decided to join the movement and sport an all-white suit. Rather than baring the semblance of a pimp at P. Diddy’s all-white Hampton’s party, Pitino stuck out worse than Tom Hanks at the company party in Big. Maybe the wardrobe was constricting Pitino’s brainpower, because his Cards were trailing 31-23 at the half. In the second half, Pitino switched it up and went with the traditional all-black suit. His excuse for the garment change was somewhat lame:
“The real reason was because it was very hot in there and I was sweating like crazy,” he said. “Not having worn a white linen suit since my first communion, no one told me when you’re sweating you can’t wear blue ‘filters’ (underwear). I was about to look ridiculous.”
Whatever. Maybe it cleared his head and got him focusing on the game rather than how ridiculous he looked. That could’ve been it because Louisville came out with a vengeance in the second half and went on to win it 59-51 — quite a solid win, not to mention impressive comeback. At least Pitino has vowed not to break out the suit again until the Kentucky Derby. And as bad as he looked, nothing can compare to Joakim Noah on draft day. Now that was bad.